We Are United Methodist Women
We are the women of the Church, the United Methodist Women. We serve a risen Savior. We carry on the traditions that hundreds of thousands of women have passed down in whispers and shouts to their sisters and daughters and nieces and friends.
We come in all shapes and sizes and shades. We come at different ages and stages of life. We bring our hearts, our hurts and our hopes to the caring circle that is the United Methodist Women.
We are Hannah, Samuel's mother, who promised her firstborn in service to God and kept that promise even though it meant losing contact with her only child at a very tender age. We are the United Methodist Women, raising children in the church and turning them over to God, not always knowing if the training and examples that we have tried to live will make a difference, trusting that God, who gave them to us, will keep them safe.
We are Noah's wife, living in a smelly boat and putting up with the creatures great and small (including husbands and sons and daughters-in-law), trusting in the word of the Lord to carry us to a safe harbor.
We are Sarah, laughing at the idea of motherhood late in life but thrilled with the possibilities.
We are Rebekkah, striving to love two children equally but ultimately siding with the one who is smaller, more vulnerable.
We are Rachel, a second wife loved and cherished, and Leah, a first wife, who never felt truly valued or loved except for her ability to bear sons.
We are Hagar, a woman betrayed by one who was trusted, a woman who, reaching the end of her rope, realizes that God will never betray her.
We are Esther, beautiful and smart, using the beauty that was God-given to save a nation, being strong enough to stand up for our faith in the face of terrible danger.
We are Naomi left a widow in a strange land. We are Ruth, a daughter-in-law choosing to follow her widowed mother-in-law rather than taking the easy way out and returning home.
We are Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, immersed in his teachings, enraptured in his presence. We are Martha, hurrying about, ensuring that everyone is fed in body as well as soul.
We are the Samaritan woman and the Phoenician woman and the woman whose faith told her that touching the garment of Christ would heal her. We are the “other women” who traveled with Jesus, sustaining him and those who followed him, supporting him and his disciples. In many cases we are nameless, but necessary.
We are the Galilean mother who saw that her son had a small lunch of bread and fishes to tide him over when he insisted that he was old enough to go and hear the Rabbi who was speaking at the lakeside. We are the one who taught him to share, no matter how little he had.
We are the women who went to the tomb to finish the task of burying Jesus and returned with the astonishing news that “He is not there. He is risen!” We are Resurrection Women, carrying the news to others who stayed hidden. The first who received the news of a Risen Lord—we were told to share it and we did.
We are Priscilla, encouraging an apostle, and Lydia, hearing the good news and sharing it, bringing our whole household to the Lord.
We are Susanna Wesley, raising children with faith and a firm hand, children who will make a tremendous mark in the world.
We are involved in our home church and in the Church throughout the world. We study the word and put our faith in to action. We accept God's grace and are humbled by it. We look for the least of these remembering always that in this world we are the hands and feet and eyes and ears of God.
We are the women of the church who offer a shoulder to cry on, who show up with covered dishes and comfort when a family is bereaved.
We are the United Methodist Women, growing in our faith, deliberate in our giving, purposeful in our missions. We share a legacy as children of God. We are the United Methodist Women, who dares to dream big dreams for God. We have devoted ourselves to praying, giving and learning through the unity of mission.
We are the United Methodist Women, disciples of Jesus Christ. We are called to share our faith, our belief in the promise of a new heaven and a new earth and our hope for all of humankind.
As United Methodist Women members we put love into action by remembering the Golden Rule and treating others as we ourselves want to be treated.
We are the United Methodist Women, more than a social movement or an organization of women. We have heard the cries for justice and have stepped out in faith.
We have listened to our foremothers and have not been afraid to attempt big things for God. We are faithful and we keep at it. Our hope is in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As United Methodist Women members, disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to share in a sisterhood of grace. We find fulfillment of our faith, realization of our hope, and love through the name of Jesus Christ in our active working for the coming of God's kingdom.
We are the United Methodist Women.
Linda J. DuRant is the president of the South Carolina Conference United Methodist Women